By Erin Haverty

In these peak summer months, you can often find me spending my days outside. Some of my favorite hobbies include hiking, swimming, and running. I try to pack in plenty of time dedicated to my hobbies in the summer while I can enjoy them in the sunshine. One important thing I always try to remember is the importance of hydration, especially when I am outside in the hot weather. My body needs to stay hydrated to perform at its peak. 

There are many different reasons why we need to keep our bodies hydrated. First, it helps boost energy levels. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and feeling lethargic. Drinking enough water allows you to stay energized throughout the day. Another reason to stay hydrated is it helps regulate body temperature. Proper hydration helps prevent overheating by keeping one’s body temperature at a suitable level. Children are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses therefore, it is vital to keep them hydrated, especially in the hot summer months. I always make sure to carry a water bottle with me. While purchasing a water bottle, I enjoy choosing vibrant colors. If the bottle looks fun, it makes me more excited to drink water. Keeping a water bottle handy is a simple way to help combat dehydration. However, there are also many other ways a person can help themselves stay hydrated. 

A colorful water bottle can be just one of the ways to help remind yourself to stay hydrated. Many people tend to get bored with the taste of water and want something more fun. A simple way to do that is by making homemade infused water. Fill a pitcher with water and add a few slices of fruit,  such as apples, lemons, strawberries, or oranges, and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before tasting. There is more you can add than just fruit. Mint can be a refreshing addition or some cinnamon sticks if you are looking for some spice. There are also plenty of other hydrating beverages and food that we can consume to help us from getting dehydrated. 

On a warm summer day, you may wonder why a slice of watermelon or a crunch of a cucumber tastes so refreshing but that is because of their hydrating properties. Eating these foods help us stay hydrated just like drinking a glass of water. Another great option to keep you hydrated is a glass of milk. Milk is packed with 13 essential nutrients in every serving, including protein, zinc, selenium, vitamin A, and vitamin D. Protein found in milk can also help build and repair muscle tissue. Because of milk’s nutritional package, it is often referred to as a great choice for athletes as it helps their bodies rebuild, refuel, and rehydrate. Something that is set to help athletes hydrate is certainly perfect for parents and children spending their summers outside. Another great option for hydration is the ‘Tropical Tango Smoothie’. This smoothie is packed with fruits, vegetables, and dairy to help give you the boost you may need while out in the hot sun.